CLARKSVILLE, TN (September 16, 2018) When Clarksville High girls tee off tomorrow morning at the Region 5 Golf Tournament, they will be focused on one thing: a third consecutive trip to the State Tournament.
The Lady Wildcats won the state championship in 2016, and were third last year. The three top golfers from last year’s team will be playing on Monday, so it’s understandable that expectations are very high this year.
Head coach J.T. Batson has been the girls golf coach at Clarksville High for five years, and he believes this team is very capable of winning region and state based on their play this year.
“If it doesn’t end with a state championship this year, we will all be extremely disappointed,” Batson said.
McKinley Cunnningham (junior), Kendall Maynard (sophomore), and Kallie Robertson (senior) will compete both individually and for the team championship on Monday.
“It is a mind set,” Batson said of his golfers’ competitive edge. “They are highly competitive, and if they don’t shoot a 75 or below, they’re mad. They’re extremely competitive in everything they do. In school, in grades, in everything that you can imagine.”
It’s an approach that has been passed down from previous champions.
“When we won the state championship two years ago, my number one Mariah Smith (who won the Tennessee State Amateur this year and plays at the University of Tennessee) was in the van on our way to the tournament, and the other two girls was talking and having a good time, but Mariah didn’t say a word from the time she left the hotel until she came off the golf course to me,” Batson recalled. “She was quiet all day long. I was around that child for nine hours, and she did not say a single word. What I didn’t realize was that she only had one thing in her head: to go out and win that golf tournament. She put herself in a spot, in the middle of everybody else, a spot where nobody else could touch her. That is the best description I can give you of what these girls do. ”
“My top three girls step on the golf course, and they know exactly where–within two feet–they want the golf ball to go, and they’re disappointed if that doesn’t happen.”
Clarksville High will not be the only area school represented at the region tournament.
Rossview’s Sadie Pan (junior), who won the girls individual title at the district tournament, will also compete along with teammate Kailey Ahn (freshman). They will be joined by Brooke Murrell of Montgomery Central; Lilly Skau and Madelyn Skau of Northwest; and Sycamore’s Courtney Pinkston.